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THE AUGUSTAN BOOKS OF 

ENGLISH POETRY 

SECOND SERIES NUMBER TWENTY-ONJJ 



SYLVIA 
LYND 



13 



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LONDON: ERNEST BENN LTD. 
BOUVERIE HOUSE, FLEET STREET 



3P 



The Augustan Books of English Poetry 

{Second Series) 
Edited by Humbert Wolfe 



i j6lIN DONNE '•-'•• * 
. 2 GEORGE HERBERT 
J ;FRANCIS' THOMPSON ' 

4 W. B. YEATS 

5 HAROLD MONRO 

6 ROSE MACAULAY 

7 ARTHUR WALEY, POEMS FROM 

THE CHINESE 

8 POEMS FROM THE GREEK 

9 POEMS FROM THE LATIN 

io EDWARD G. BROWNE, POEMS 

FROM THE PERSIAN 
M POEMS FROM THE IRISH 

12 JOHN SKELTON, MODERNIZED 

BY ROBERT GRAVES 

13 POEMS FROM BOOKS, 1927 

(THOMAS MOULT) 



14 THE LESS FAMILIAR NURSERY 
RHYMES (ROBERT GRAVES) 

16 CHARLES AND MARY LAMB 

(MARK PERUGINI) 

17 EPITAPHS (HON. ELEANOR 

BROUGHAM) 

18 CHRISTMAS CAROLS (D. L. 

KELLEHER) 

19 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (H. W. 

GARROD) 

20 GERALD GOULD 

21 SYLVIA LYND 

22 D. H. LAWRENCE 

23 S. T. COLERIDGE (HAROLD 

MONRO) 

24 POEMS FROM THE FRENCH 

{translated by H. W. GARROD) 



Compilers' names are indicated in brackets after the title. 



[\ifOlZ 






H3^ 

SYLVIA LYND |12©* 

AV/AJ 

The image of glass is always in my mind when 1 read 
Sylvia Lynd's verse. 1 think in particular of a delicate 
crystal Don Quixote 1 once saw, whose helmet, by some 
odd caprice, had been painted gold. It was a little wrong- 
headed to use so fragile a material for that tremendous 
figure, and entirely whimsical to substitute for rusted steel 
flawless gold. And yet because of the very oddness the 
little statue threw a new light on that great epic. 

So with Mrs. Lynd's verse. The emotions she enshrines 
are not seldom profound: she is in touch with " old un- 
happy far-off things " as well as with much that is fair and 
fresh. But always with light fingers she is making her 
bright transparent moulds. Indeed, a hasty reader might 
complain or pretend that they were so fashioned that he 
could see through them all. 

But he would be wrong. Because if they are of glass, 
it is stained glass, stained with colours so reticent that only 
a patient eye can rest on them. Let them, however, once 
be seen, and they will for such a one outlast the glories of 
a more strident palette. Read them by lamplight, and see 
if there is not something warm in the cool depths, and 
something that reflects the flame, and holds it, because 
there is a fire in its heart. 

Humbert Wolfe. 



in 



7< )2979 



CONTENTS 



FABLE - 

LOOKING AT THE STARS - 

TO SHEILA PLAYING HAYDN 

SHUTGATE - 

FAREWELL IN FEBRUARY - 

FINE EVENING - 

THE MOWER - 

THE HAPPY HOUR 

NIGHTFALL - 

THE WILLOW - 

THE HARE, I918 - 

THE FLIGHT OF THE GOLDFINCHES 

THE RETURN OF THE GOLDFINCHES 

HUNTING SONG - 

IN THIS DESERTED GARDEN 

COWPER AT OLNEY 

THE WHISTLING BOY 

WOOTTON HILL IN WINTER 

THAT DAY - 

THE SMALL DAUGHTER 

THE IRISHMAN'S STORY 

HELAS! - 

THE SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOWERS 

A FINE NIGHT IN WINTER 

BIBLIOGRAPHY - 



5 

6 
6 

7 
8 

10 
11 
12 

13 
14 

16 

i7 

19 

21 

21 

22 

23 

2 3 
24 

25 
27 

27 

30 

3 1 



IV 



Fable 

WHERE the white lane meets with the green 
The year's first butterflies are seen; 
Here settling upon leaf or stone, 
They spread their colours in the sun. 

This is the chosen trysting place 
Of butterflies' whole painted race; 
Hither the gentle, favouring wind 
Of spring shall bring to each his kind. 

See, ever full of hope and love, 
The basker leap to her above 
At the first brushing of her shadow — 
Over the hedge, across the meadow! 

But ah, how fortune mocks delight! 
The tortoiseshell pursues the white, 
The yellow brimstone tracks the shade, 
Zig-zag, the splendid peacock made. 

Swiftly the fair day droops and dies 
Above unmated butterflies; 
Again, again, and yet again, 
Comes the wrong lover down the lane. 

Though still deceived they still return 
To wait, to hope, perchance to mourn : — 
Alas ! poor fools, how must they rue 
Who but a flickering shade pursue! 

Happier we and wiser far 
Than these misguided insects are, 
For whom both life and love are lost 
At the first touch of evening frost. 

5 



Looking at the Stars 

NOW, by night, while all is still, 
Orion sets his starry heel, 
Marching, on the western hill : — 
Constellations with him wheel 

Westward, ever westward moving, 
Many a hero, many a god, 
Fierce in war and fierce in loving : — 
Men in ancient times who trod 

This strange planet knew and named 
Their great deeds, proclaimed their glories, 
While the bright stars flinched and flamed: 
Shades of shades those men; but stories 

Live when speaking lips are dumb : — 
Is it their night-haunting breath 
Across unnumbered ages come, 
Breathes in my hair the chill of death ? 



To Sheila playing Haydn 

OH, when thy fingers touch the notes, I think 
The deer go stepping to the brook to drink; 
Beneath the level beech-leaves low I peer, 
And see again, branch-horned, the crested deer, 
The thin-legged doe, the fawn in that green light 
On tiptoe following them out of sight. 



Most deft adored, thy nimble fingers make 
A thousand pictures in my mind awake; 
For no young tning of beast or bird or tree 
I've seen, but I have seemed to look on thee, 
And at thy sound I go remembering 
About the woods of every vanished spring. 



Shutgate 

SHUTGATE was all the name it had, 
That ancient house beside the road; 
Close to its walls a broad stream flowed, 
Across the stream two swallows played. 

Bluebacked, forktailed, with red cravats, 
They flashed their colours through the air, 
The only living things they were 
Beside those close-shut painted gates. 

In the tall gable hung a bell, 
A tongueless bell remote and high, 
The window-panes gave back the sky, 
The bucket slept beside the well. 

The grass uncut, the hedge untrimmed, 
Shutgate the name and that was all; 
The brick glowed like a Paisley shawl, 
The waters flowed, the swallows skimmed. 

Through the long summer afternoons 
It seemed to brood upon its name — 
Shutgate — the swallows went and came 
And the brook sparkled through the stones. 



Farewell in February 

THROUGH the small window on the stair 
As I leant out to take the air 
At the slow-fading end of day, 
I heard the thrushes sing and say : 
This is the end of winter. 

This is the end, I thought, although 
The northward fields are rimmed with snow, 
And like a thrush's breast the down 
Is speckled o'er with white and brown; 
Though no sharp plough the furrow grooves, 
Though still the seagulls' white-winged droves 
Flurry above the inland plain — 
Winter withdraws from earth again — 
This is the end of winter. 

Since then, I thought, I shall not see 
New buds alight in every tree, 
Nor watch the sun at evenfall 
Put gold upon my bedroom wall, 
And no more at this window lean 
To feel the smooth air pressing in— 
Here for a little while I'll rest 
And mark the garden's every crest, 
That in my mind when I am gone 
Its birds and boughs may still live on. 



This place that I'll not see again 
Shall wear its seasons in my brain; 
Clothed in fine weather it shall shine 
Thorough what journeys may be mine, 
Nor drought nor deluge shall destroy 
What in my fancy I enjoy. 
Here not a seed on barren ground 
Shall fall, and not a grub be found. 

8 



All happy weathers, seasons, hours, 
Entangled still with fruit and flowers, 
In gay confusion shall display 
The charms of Michaelmas or May. 
Fresh leaves and blossoms I'll set in it 
And plums shall ripened be next minute; 
Through scarlet currants that appear 
Like earrings in a lady's ear 
Shall slant the beams of morning sun — 
Next pinks breathe sweet and day be done 
There be the moon and there tiptoe 
The stars among the branches go, 
And that young jasmine by the wall 
Shall grow a flowery waterfall. 

So rich in crops, so quickly weeded, 
Where never fork or hoe is needed, 
This place I leave beneath grey skies 
Shall be my spirit's paradise. 



What once was there and what there never 
Who from thought's thicket can dissever? 
Through the green branches looking down 
Into this Eden of my own, 
Unchanging phantoms I shall see 
Myself and you who walked with me, 
Two skipping children long since grown, 
A cat long dead and birds long flown, 
And so substantial I shall find 
The dreams that living leaves behind; 
All hopes, all loves, all ecstasies 
Stolen from life, I shall find these. 
What memory cannot paint be sure 
Fancy will fashion more secure. 

Those woven boughs, that silken sky, 
Regret nor winter will come nigh; 

9 



Beyond the reach of mortal grief 
Its every shining flower and leaf; 
Growing but fading not shall be 
The span of its mortality, 
And time's sad progress shall be stayed 
By the perfection of a shade. 



Fine Evening 

TO-NIGHT the sky is like a rose 
Above the little town, 
A petal fallen from a rose 
The chalk-pit on the down. 

The ancient vane is gilt again, 

And every roof is warm, 
And brightly burns a window-pane 

In some far distant farm. 

The gentle hill, the gentle sky 
Lie close as close-shut lips, 

Softly and very secretly 

Day towards darkness slips. 

And every tree its arms puts out 
To clasp the passing light, 

And every bud puts up its mouth 
To kiss the day good-night — 

The elm-trees all on tiptoe stand 

Her going to behold, 
Like little children hand-in-hand 

With hair of misty gold — 
IO 



So slowly that she seems to stay, 

So slowly does she pass! 
But trace we may the steps of day 

Translucent in the grass. 

To-night her going is as kind 

As if that she stood still, 
And we, by climbing, noon should find, 

Full noon, behind the hill. 



The Mower 

THE rooks travelled home, 
The milch cows went lowing, 
And down in the meadow 
An old man was mowing. 

His shirt rank with sweat, 
His neck stained with grime; 
But he moved like the cadence 
And sweetness of rhyme. 

He moved like the heavy-winged 
Rooks, the slow cows, 
He moved like the vane 
On the roof of the house. 

The foam of the daisies 
Was spread like a sea, 
The spikes of red sorrel 
Came up past his knee. 

The sorrel, the daisies, 
The white and the gold — 
A man who was dirty 
And twisted and old — 
n 



But again and again 
Like an eddy he was. 
He moved like the wind 
In his own tasselled grass. 



The Happy Hour 

HL. A. L.; with penknife deep embedded, 
# He carved the letters on the ancient stile. 
Harry and Alice, rural lovers wedded, 

Stayed and were happy here a little while. 

Along the dykes they walked, while the sun wested, 
In the warm summer evening, and so it was 

That Harry stood and carved, while Alice rested, 

Among the knapweed and the tall bleached grass. 

Blue shone the tide, the swallows skimmed and darted, 
White gulls passed slowly, redshanks made their cry; 

The wheat was newly cut, the beans were carted, 

And haystacks golden-rooved against the sky. 

Pale gold the oaten stooks above the clover, 

Too still the air to lift the thistledown, 
Sometimes a curlew cried, sometimes a plover; 

And evening fulness grew, and the sun shone, 

And stretched long shadows on the yellow stubble; 

While Harry set his oriflamme to prove 
That, in a world called sad and full of trouble, 

Two people once were happy, being in love. 

12 



T 



Nightfall 

HE church bells make their tumbling song, 
And swiftly now the shadows grow 
The quiet fields among : 



Five little poplars in a row 
Stripe with long shadows half the weald, 
The elm-tree shadows flow, 

Like streams till all the vale is filled — 
Talk of the rooks is not yet done 

And there the first bat wheeled : 

Behind the beechwood the red sun 
Burns on the ground, a woodman's fire, 
And suddenly is gone : 

Yet touched with gold are roof and spire, 
And the young corn is lucent still, 
And higher, ever higher, 

The small clouds hold the light, until 
Dusk draws its azure through the air — 
The long shape of the hill 

Against the west is sleeping there : 
This is earth's calm and gentle hour, — 
With darkening fields men share 

Peace, like the closing of a flower. 



13 



The Willo w 
To M. M. R. 

THERE stands a willow by a stream 
In pensive green and silver grace, 
Quiet she stands, as in a dream; 

But when the breezes dart and chase 
The ripples, and the rushes quiver, 

She stoops and kisses her own face 
Reflected in the flowing river. 

So when you turn your eyes our way, 
Moved by a little thoughtful wind, 

You see about you every day 
The dawnlit Eden of your mind 

Where many lovely shadows pass, 
Since you in us your beauty find : 

The world is but your looking-glass. 



The Hare, 191 8 

THROUGH the pale summer grass I stare 
At the blue dome of sky; 
A soft, contented, couchant hare 
Hid in the grass am I. 

All that I see a hare can see, 

All that I hear she hears, 
The wind's wave falling ceaselessly, 

The trembling grassy spears : 

The coloured patchwork of the weald, 

Unto the world's blue edge, 
Green field plaited with yellow field, 

Hedge woven with dark hedge : 

14 



And, on the other side, the sea 
Striped by the yellow grass, 

Where to and fro continually 
Small busy creatures pass : 

Beetles as bright as lustre beads, 

Ladybirds red as blood, 
Green grasshoppers like little steeds 

Threading the tangled wood : 

And butterflies upon the wind 

Blown past like withered leaves, 

Graylings, and all the heathy kind, 
And flecked fritillaries — 

Their cool wings flutter near my face 
Where cupped in grass I lie, 

Domed with the blue and dazzling space 
Of fine cloud-ruffled sky. 

I watch the ambling shadows pass, 

And bask without a care, 
With sun and sky and summer grass 

As thoughtless as a hare. 

Till from that blue and friendly dome 
There comes a sudden breath, 

A shuddering breath out of a tomb, 
A messenger of death. 

A sound, a smouldering sound, that fills 
And fades, but comes again; 

Bruising the gentle grassy hills 

With news of grief and pain. 

Oh, then no summer do I see, 

Nor feel the summer air; 
But think upon men's cruelty, 

And tremble like a hare. 
15 



The Flight of the Goldfinches 

FLY not away, sweet goldfinches! 
In this green garden no danger is. 

White plumes shine in the lilac trees, 
The sycamore flounces are full of bees, 

Bend the laburnums in golden showers, 
The dome of the chestnut rains down flowers- 
Fly not away, sweet goldfinches ! 
Honey is tossed upon every breeze, 

Apple-blossoms of red and pink 

Hold cups of sweetness for you to drink, 

The twigs of the apple-branches, look, 

Are tied with bows like a shepherd's crook — 

Fly not away, sweet goldfinches ! 

Stay with the bright-winged chaffinches, 

Stay with the robin, who makes his song 
The heart-shaped catalpa leaves among, 

Stay with the delicate willow-wren, 
Who pipes a grace and eats again — 

Fly not away, sweet goldfinches ! 
The thrush here finds no enemies; 

In the acacia he will sing, 

His breast all pink in the evening, 

When many a swift goes shrilling by, 
And the neat swallows clip the sky — 

16 



Fly not away, sweet goldfinches ! 
Stay and sway in the rose bushes, 

Here will be for you plum and pear, 
Jasmine is here and syringa's here, 

Raspberry, currant, and gooseberry, 
Dark-leaved laurel and rosemary — 

Fly not away, sweet goldfinches ! 
Nowhere is May more May than this, 

Stay and tell us your pretty notes, 

Let us see the pretty colours of your coats, 

None shall frighten you, 
All delight in you — 

Fly not away, sweet memories! 



The Return of the Goldfinches 

WE are much honoured by your choice, 
O golden birds of silver voice ! 
That in our garden you should find 
A pleasaunce to your mind — 

The painted pear of all our trees, 
The south slope towards the gooseberries 
Where all day long the sun is warm — 
Combining use with charm. 

Did the pink tulips take your eye ? 
Or Beach's barn secure and high 
To guard you from some chance mishap 
Of gales through Shoreham gap ? 

17 



First you were spied a flighting pair 
Flashing and fluting here and there, 
Until in stealth the nest was made 
And graciously you stayed. 

Now when I pause beneath your tree, 
An anxious head peeps down at me, 
A crimson jewel in its crown, 
I looking up, you down : — 

I wonder if my stripey shawl 
Seems pleasant in your eyes at all, 
I can assure you that your wings 
Are most delightful things. 

Sweet birds, I pray, be not severe, 
Do not deplore our presence here, 
We cannot all be goldfinches 
In such a world as this. 

The shaded lawn, the bordered flowers, 
We'll call them yours instead of ours, 
The pinks and the acacia tree 
Shall own your sovereignty. 

And, if you let us, we will prove 
Our lowly and obsequious love, 
And when your little grey-pates hatch 
We'll help you to keep watch. 

No prowling stranger cats shall come 

About your high celestial home, 

With dangerous sounds we'll chase them hence 

And ask no recompense. 

And he, the Ethiop of our house, 
Slayer of beetle and of mouse, 

18 



Huge, lazy, fond, whom we love well — 
Peter shall wear a bell. 

Believe me, birds, you need not fear, 
No cages or limed twigs are here, 
We only ask to live with you 
In this green garden, too. 

And when in other shining summers 
Our place is taken by new-comers, 
We'll leave them with the house and hill 
The goldfinches' good will. 

Your dainty flights, your painted coats, 
The silver mist that is your notes, 
And all your sweet caressing ways 
Shall decorate their days. 

And never will the thought of spring 
Visit our minds, but a gold wing 
Will flash among the green and blue, 
And we'll remember you. 



Hunting Song 

THE hunt is up, the hunt is up, 
It sounds from hill to hill, 
It pierces to the secret place 
Where we are lying still, 
And one of us the quarry is, 
And one of us must go 
When through the arches of the wood 
We hear the dread horn blow. 

J 9 



A huntsman bold is Master Death, 

And reckless does he ride, 

And terror's hounds with bleeding fangs 

Go baying at his side. 

And will it be a milk-white doe 

Or little dappled fawn, 

Or will it be an antlered stag 

Must face the icy dawn ? 

Or will it be a golden fox 

Must leap from out his lair, 

Or where the trailing shadows pass 

A merry romping hare ? 

The hunt is up, the horn is loud 

By plain and covert side, 

And one must run alone, alone, 

When Death abroad does ride. 

But idle 'tis to crouch in fear, 

Since Death will find you out. 

Then up and hold your head erect 

And pace the wood about, 

And swim the stream, and leap the wall, 

And race the starry mead, 

Nor feel the bright teeth in your flank 

Till they be there indeed. 

For in the secret hearts of men 

Are peace and joy at one, 

There is a pleasant land where stalks 

No darkness in the sun, 

And through the arches of the wood 

There break like silver foam 

Young laughter and the noise of flutes 

And voices singing home. 



20 



In this Deserted Garden 

IN this deserted garden was song ever sung? 
Did ever the blossom of April put light on the bough ? 
Did leaves move softly once ? At night was there hung 
A moon in the depths of the branches where clouds hang 
now? 

Stood I by the willow listening, with indrawn breath, 
To hear from the echoing night, from the mist-white 
vale — 

Leaves overhead and the moon, and grass beneath — 
The first exultant song of the nightingale ? 



Cowper at Olney 

IN this green valley where the Ouse 
Is looped in many a silver pool, 
Seeking God's mercy and his muse 
Went Cowper sorrowful. 

Like the pale gleam of wintry sun 
His genius lit the obscure place, 
Where, battling with despair, lived one 
Of melancholy's race. 

By quiet waters, by green fields 

In winter sweet as summer hay, 

By hedgerows where the chaffinch builds 

He went his brooding way. 

And not a berry or a leaf, 
Or stirring bough or fragrant wind, 
But, in its moment, soothed the grief 
Of his tormented mind. 

21 



And since, like the beloved sheep 
Of David's shepherd, he was led 
By streams and pastures quiet as slee 
Was he not comforted? 



The Whistling Boy 

IT is not the whistling of blackbird or wren, 
Nor yet the plump chaffinch that sings in the lane; 
But a little starved boy that is crooked and lame, 
A little starved ruffian that hasn't a name. 

He's always in want and he's always in woe, 

A load on his back and an errand to go, 

A devil to fight and he'll fight six to one, 

Or poke out a half-smothered wasps' nest for fun. 

In a lapful of sorrows his infancy lay, 
The mother who bore him she soon ran away, 
His grandmother reared him in poverty cold, 
And the life of the young was the grief of the old. 

Sure not from his father such happiness came, 
And not from his mother who left him in shame; 
The song of green fields, of the streams and the groves, 
The song of sweet hopes and of confident loves. 

Oh, what puts that spirit of spring in his breast, 
Oh, what makes him pipe like a bird by its nest, 
Oh, what makes him whistle like blackbird or wren, 
The little starved ruffian rejected of men ? 



22 



Wootton Hill in Winter 

CROUCHING before the bitter North, 
As if in anger driven forth, 
A caravan against the sky, 
The trees along the hill go by — 

Hooded pine and muffled fir, 
Larches clad in gossamer, 
Oaks that mighty burdens bear, 
Thorns that limping dwarfs appear — 

A refuge do they find at last, 

And all their burdens from them cast, 

And straighten their strong backs, and sigh, 

And stand upright against the sky. 

So do they move again, again, 
Like an old song with a refrain, 
Like water curling round a stone, 
Or like my thoughts when I'm alone. 



That Day 

THAT day, that three times happy day, 
Is now a myriad miles away, 
And nowhere can its trace be found 
Upon earth's poorer ground. 

Left far behind in starry space 
By the unpausing planet's race, 
A bubble in the wake it shone — 
A bubble — and was gone. 

23 



But though dissolved, such sweetness clings 
About that airy nought of things — 
That rainbow-coloured mist of joy — 
As time cannot destroy. 

And young-eyed seraphim that go 
Celestial errands to and fro, 
Coming into that breath of bliss, 
Will wonder what it is : 

Finding a fragrance there the same 
As in the place from whence they came, 
Nor strive to guess nor ever care 
What mortals left it there. 



The S?nall Daughter 

GOD does not fail in anything, 
The ring-dove's neck, the beetle's wing, 
The leaves that turn from green to gold, 
The sunny perfumes of the spring, 
The coloured patchwork of the wold, 
The blue dusk dropping fold on fold, 
And all talk talked and stories told 
In the long evenings by the fire, 
And strength and laughter and desire. 

Dear, when you come to me and say 
Do this, do that, I must obey, 
Swift to interpret, to devise 
With all the gladness that I may, 
So can I face the trust that lies 
24 



Within your wide exacting eyes 
(Your beautiful exacting eyes); 
Mending and fashioning, I know 
If you will have, it must be so. 

Do not be over harsh with me 
When (empty of all subtlety, 
Stupid and ignorant and shy) 
You find my small reality. 
When on a sudden grown as high 
And how much cleverer than I ! 
You put your games and nonsense by 
And find me also questioning 
And empty of all counselling. 

Ah, turn your puzzled glances then 
From the unresting ways of men, 
From tangled right and tangled wrong 
To where the brooks are loud with rain, 
To where the birds are glad with song, 
And with the world know you are young, 
And with the ageing world be strong, 
And unto God as faithful be 
As in these days you are to me. 



The Irishman s Story 



CAN you not tell me the way to the Blue Mountains? 
Can you not tell me the way to the Blue Mountains ? 
An enchanted princess is there waiting for me, 
An enchanted princess that I rescued from captivity — 
Always I am asking the way to the Blue Mountains. 

25 



Three nights I watched, three nights I lay awake, 

Three nights I fought with demons for her sake; 

The little fair-haired lad he played a trick on me, 

He put me to sleep beneath the hawthorn tree. 

The little fair-haired lad 

A coat of green he had, 

A cap of red upon his head, 

A smile with every word he said. 

Three nights I watched, but I slept beneath the tree, 

Slept and could not wake when the princess came for me, 

Came with a coach and four horses grey, 

Swiftly, swiftly did she come and swiftly went away — 

Always I am asking the way to the Blue Mountains. 

There is a shining harbour and a twinkling town, 
There is a shining palace and a twinkling crown, 
There is the most beautiful lady that any eye could see, 
She leans out of her window, she looks and longs for me — 
Always I am asking the way to the Blue Mountains. 

I will mount an eagle's back, I will ride the wind, 

I will see all hidden paths, and find and find 

The smooth harbour, the secret town where the princess 

waits for me, 
The enchanted princess, mourning her lost captivity — 
Can you not tell me the way to the Blue Mountains ? 



26 



HSlas! 

AH! little tree, that shone in May 
With glistening leaves and blossoms gay, 
How show you now the bitter air 
Of time has stripped your branches bare? 

You that I loved and praised as one 
That seemed a nursling of the sun — 
What the bleak soil, what harsh wind blew, 
Thus to deform and wither you ? 

Apparelled in the robe of Spring, 
You bloomed so fresh and fine a thing; 
Was that most joyous canopy 
But a disguise, my little tree? 

I loved the blossoms and the green, 
The coloured, carved, intricate screen : 
Enchanted by the sight of them, 
How should I mark the crooked stem ? 



The Shepherds of the Flowers 

OYOU that on a Summer's day, 
Upon the shores of Blacksod Bay, 
Among the sunshine and the showers, 
I called the shepherds of the flowers; 
The sturdy, sunburnt legs of you, 
The round straw hats, the smocks of blue, 
The brown locks and the golden locks, 
That went a-following their flocks! 

27 



Into your hands you gathered then 
Such colours as wise-fingered men 
Painted on cups in Queen Anne's day. 
When ladies called their tea Bohea : 
Mauve orchises in printed dresses, 
Yellow hawkweed, purple vetches, 
Woodruff white, geranium rose, 
Milkwort bluest flower that grows : 
But these, and twice as many more, 
Lie far beneath Time's crystal floor, 
And you, instead of mountain sheep, 
The tamer Sussex kind must keep : 

Run to your flocks that here await 
Your care within a garden gate : 
Here the dark violet sweetness spreads, 
And snowdrops hang their snow-white heads, 
With wallflowers, squills and primroses, 
Candytuft and crocuses, 
And many a jonquil's leafy crown 
Thrusting greenness through earth's brown : 
Run to your flocks, and say that one 
Who as they love it loves the sun, 
Humbly desires that they will make 
Their Spring a late one for her sake. 
Say that in weakness and long pain 
More than a season she has lain 
Holding in hope but one small thing : 
She should be well to see the Spring — 
Oh, say to them to stay their growth, 
This would be charity, not sloth, 
Beseech them stay, that she may share 
Their beauty with the gentle air. 
Why should they hasten ? Winter still 
Puts a coldness on the hill — 
Tell them of sudden frosts and snows, 
And how the bawling March wind blows — 
28 



Tell them of April when the wind 
As the most steady sun is kind — 
And is not May more lovely far 
Than half-a-hundred Aprils are ? 
Bid them but wait one other moon 
And blossom with the rose of June! 

They do not heed us. Every day 
Brings news of Spring's triumphal way. 
Blackthorn and bullace star the lane; 
The hazel staves sustain again 
Their golden notes, the sky shines clear- 
I shall not see the Spring this year. 

Shepherds, with tidings of the flowers, 
You do not know these flocks of yours, 
Rustling soft-voiced across my bed, 
Pass with a hard and hurtful tread. 



But peace to grieving ! In this room 
Is happiness to chase all gloom. 
Are not two Mays, two Aprils here, 
That keep their sweetness through the year ? 
Shall the indifference of a few 
Flowers distress me, while in you 
All flowers, all suns, all Springs I see 
And I clasp them and they clasp me? 
These will not fail me, they are made 
Of a delight that cannot fade 
So long as loving eyes may look 
In memory's well-painted book. 
And, shepherds mine, when you are whirled 
To the far ages of the world, 
There will be countless flocks of sheep 
For your be-ribboned crooks to keep. 

29 



Still may you guide into your fold 
Flocks with fleeces of pure gold, 
Shepherding through this world of ours 
Truth, Justice, Laughter, and — the Flowers. 



A Fine Night in Winter 

THIS night of sweetly-perfumed air 
Should not have fallen to December's share. 
This is such perfume as young April breathes 
When violet-girdled spring her garland wreathes, 
When wallflowers crowd the borders, and in the sun 
Hyacinth bells are opening one by one, 
And tulip buds are red-stained at the tips, 
And pear-trees are like full-rigged sailing-ships — 
In such a place, on such a day stood I, 
And watched fine weather walking in the sky, 
Through pearly clouds threaded the azure day 
And winter seemed a thousand years away. 

Here are no flowers, and overhead I see 
A quick star leaping in a leafless tree : — 
Not to December's iron share 
This night of perfumed air! 



30 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

The Chorus. (Novel.) Constable and Co. 

The Thrush and the Jay. (Miscellany.) Constable and Co. 

The Goldfinches. (Poems.) R. Cobden-Sanaerson. 

The Swallow Dive. (Novel.) Cassell and Co. 

The Mulberry Bush. (Stories.) Macmillan and Co. 



Acknowledgments for permission to reprint poems are 
due to Messrs. Constable and Co.^ and to Mr. R. Cobden- 
Sanderson. 



3 1 



The Augustan Books of Poetry 
{First Series) 

Edited by Edward Thompson 

{First published during 1925 and 1926) 



Uniform with this 

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EDMUND BLUNDEN 
RABINDRANATH TAGORE 
RUPERT BROOKE 
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WILLIAM BLAKE 
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J. C. SQUIRE 
JOHN FREEMAN 
ROBERT GRAVES 
ANDREW MARVELL 
OMAR KHAYYAM 
RALPH WALDO EMERSON 
JOHN DRINKWATER 
A CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY 
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 
WALT WHITMAN 
SIEGFRIED SASSOON 
A RELIGIOUS ANTHOLOGY 
EDWARD SHANKS 
DORA SIGERSON SHORTER 
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EDGAR ALLAN POE 
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON 
LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS 



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SIR EDMUND GOSSE 
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